DUBAI, 20th November, 2016 (WAM) — Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, has received Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on the sidelines of his visit during the annual networking reception held by the Dubai Chamber in Baku.

During the meeting, which focused on expanding bilateral ties between the two countries, President Aliyev lauded the strong bilateral relations between his country and the UAE, stating that Azerbaijan and the UAE share a single vision for the future and are keen to strengthen their mutual cooperation and benefit from the potential opportunities available in both countries.

President Aliyev stressed the importance of the Dubai Chamber’s representative office in Azerbaijan, which he said is an important step in expanding bilateral relations and taking them to higher levels.

He also praised Dubai’s achievements on the world economic stage, and expressed his country’s desire to emulate the example of the UAE, which he said is a developed country with a clear vision and strategy for the future.

President Aliyev noted, “The time is right to expand business relations between the two countries, such as growing agricultural exports from Azerbaijan, including meat and meat products, while Dubai and the UAE experience is very important for Azerbaijan, as the Jebel Ali experience can help us turn Alat Port into a major international logistics centre.”

Highlighting cooperation in the field of tourism, he said many tourists from the UAE visit Azerbaijan, as he underlined the significance of expanding economic relations and exploring export and import opportunities, adding that increased tourism promotes bilateral business.

Al Ghurair lauded both the UAE and Azerbaijan leadership’s strong vision, noting that this direction was helping the business communities focus on their business growth in challenging times, adding that the UAE attaches great importance to its relationship with Azerbaijan.

He reiterated the Dubai Chamber’s commitment to facilitating the entry of its members to these markets, as the Chamber’s representative office in Baku contributes to stimulate joint economic partnerships due to the support enjoyed by its partners in the public and private sectors in Azerbaijan.

The meeting with the Azerbaijani President also discussed a range of issues, including business, the tourism industry, opportunities for export of Azerbaijani agricultural products to the UAE, and mutual investment areas.

Al Ghurair also had extensive meetings with Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Kamaladdin Heydarov, Minister of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Karam Hasanov, Chairman of the State Committee on Property Issues of Azerbaijan, and discussed various issues of bilateral business opportunities between the two countries.

The annual networking meeting held at the Fairmont Hotel in Baku was attended by Mohamad Al Qubaisi, UAE Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and a large number of Azerbaijani investors and business partners who were honoured for their active role in promoting bilateral trade between the two countries.

In his keynote address, Al Ghurair stated, “Azerbaijan has long been a priority market for us and we see it as a major gateway to the CIS region. Non-oil trade between Dubai and Azerbaijan reached $354 million in 2015, accounting for more than half of the UAE’s trade with the country,” he said, adding that Dubai and Azerbaijan share synergies in the fields of logistics, finance, residential and commercial construction, as well as building and tourism.